No space to grow? Branch out to your windowsill suggests Jessie Hewitson.
It is summer and you yearn to be sat in a cool, well tended garden. For many of us – particularly first and second time flat-dwellers in a city – the best we will get to this dream is by sitting in our flat with the window open next to a lovely blooming window box. Here are some tips on creating a mini-Kew Garden on your windowsill.
- Choose a container with drainage holes (or make them yourself if there aren’t any holes)
- Fill the box with compost and place your plants in without packing them too tightly. Fill the gaps with more compost, pat down and water
- Place your window box on a deep ledge, or fix brackets on the box, securing it to your window sill (councils and passers-by below take a dim view on falling boxes)
- Water to keep the earth moist, but not too damp. As a rule of thumb, once a day in the evening during summer is best. Add fertiliser once a week to the water if you’re feeling particularly green fingered.
- Evergreens like ivy, lavender, heather and hebe are ideal window box choices, perfectly happy in cooped up spaces.
- Consider growing veg: according to the National Trust, the equivalent of 344 football pitches’ worth of growing space can be found on our windowsills.
- Most veg will want direct sun, but some – such as lettuce, onions, parsley and radishes – like shade. Beans, carrots and herbs are all possible to grow on your windowsill. The deeper the windowbox the greater variety of veg you can grow. (NB. Courgettes needs lot of room to grow so possibly best left until you have a garden)
- If you have a small balcony, consider laying a small patch of lawn.
- Some websites for inspiration: balconyboutique.co.uk, rocketgardens.co.uk and thebalconygardener.com.
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